It's official; Pope Benedict has embraced technology and social media, and sent out his first tweet, along with several others throughout the last few days.

 

The pope, who's using the handle @pontifex, sent out his first tweet in his English account, one of several accounts in different languages, on Wednesday, saying:

"Dear friends, I am pleased to get in touch with you through Twitter. Thank you for your generous response. I bless all of you from my heart." The message was sent out to over 1.2 million followers, and was re-tweeted over 30,000 times.

Some took to tweeting the pope to ask advice, such as one soon-to-be father asking how to raise his son so he remains with the faith, while others asked more personal questions, like one user who tweeted "Can you come and celebrate mass in my school? – we can never get any priests."

Others seemed to try and have a bit of fun, with users asking questions such as "Where IS heaven?" "Hi @Pontifex What's the correct ranking order? Ayatollah - Lama - Queen of England - witch doctor - pope - prophet - #askpontifex" and sparking the trend of #askpontifex among tweeters looking to have questions answered by the pope.

Although he may not be sending out each tweet - which has been confirmed as one tweet a week in the future - spokespeople have said that he will have input into each tweet and that they will pass his approval before being sent out.

Many may doubt that Twitter is an appropriate place for a religious leader, especially after some recent high profile celebrities have had some public disagreements with fans which were seen by many because of the very public nature of social media.